Anatomical bases of sex- and size-related acoustic variation in herring gull alarm calls

Article English OPEN
Hardouin, Loïc A ; Thompson, Richard ; Stenning, Martyn ; Reby, David (2014)

The hypothesis that anatomical or physiological factors can constrain the production of vocalizations is supported by an increasing number of examples from a range of taxa, where acoustic variation is related to sex, body-size or condition. In this study, we combine anatomical and acoustic investigations in herring gulls Larus argentatus to 1) identify co-variation between sex, body size and the dimensions of the vocal apparatus and 2) test the possible effect of this co-variation on interindividual variation in the acoustics of alarm calls. We found that the vocal apparatus was sexually dimorphic, with males having longer trachea and bigger vibratile membranes than females. We also identified a relationship between the head–bill length – a secondary sexual trait – and the length of the trachea in males only. However, we failed to identify corresponding sex- and body-size related variation in the acoustic components of alarm calls. We suggest that this absence of a relationship between anatomical and acoustic dimensions may reflect the lack of biomechanical constraints exerted during the production of alarm calls, and that such relationships are more likely to be expressed in this species’ sexual calls, whose production is characterised by more pronounced, ritualised postures that are more likely to highlight inter-individual size variation.
  • References (46)
    46 references, page 1 of 5

    Appleby, B. M. and Redpath, S. M. 1997. Indicators of male quality in the hoots of tawny owls (Strix aluco). - J. Raptor Res. 31: 65-70.

    Baayen, R. H. 2008. Analyzing linguistic data: a practical introduction to statistics. - Cambridge Univ. Press.

    Baayen, R. H. 2009. languageR: data sets and functions with “Analyzing linguistic data: a practical introduction to statistics”. - R package ver. 0.955, & http://CRAN.R-project.org/ package % languageR$.

    Ballintijn, M. R. and ten Cate, C. 1997. Sex differences in the vocalizations and syrinx of the collared dove (Streptopelia decaocto). - Auk 114: 22-39.

    Bates, D. and Maechler, M. 2010. lme4: linear mixed-effects models using S4 classes. - R package ver. 0.999375-35, &http://CRAN.R-project.org/package % lme4$.

    Beani, L., Panzica, G., Briganti, F., Persichella, P. and Dessi-Fulgheri, F. 1995. Testosterone-induced changes of call structure, midbrain and syrinx anatomy in partridges. - Physiol. Behav. 58: 1149-1157.

    Bee, M. A., Perrill, S. A. and Owen, P. C. 1999. Size assessment in simulated territorial encounters between male green frogs (Rana clamitans). - Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 45: 177-184.

    Boeckle, M. and Bugnyar, T. 2012. Long term memory for affiliates in ravens. - Curr. Biol. 22: 801-806.

    Burger, J. 1984. Pattern, mechanism, and adaptative significance of territoriality in herring gulls (Larus argentatus). - Ornithol. Monogr. 34: iii-92.

    Charlton, B. D., Zhihe, Z. and Snyder, R. J. 2009. he information content of giant panda, Ailuropoda melanoleuca, bleats: acoustic cues to sex, age and size. - Anim. Behav. 78: 893-898.

  • Related Research Results (1)
  • Metrics
    0
    views in OpenAIRE
    0
    views in local repository
    60
    downloads in local repository

    The information is available from the following content providers:

    From Number Of Views Number Of Downloads
    Sussex Research Online - IRUS-UK 0 60
Share - Bookmark